Integrated Character Education, Issue 351

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Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1993 - Moral education - 31 pages
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The Integrated Character Education model recognizes both the affective and cognitive factors involved in educating the whole child and ultimately the responsible adult. The basic question is how to transmit the values of a common heritage from one generation to the next, while supporting the personal development of youth. The goals of Integrated Character Education are to fulfill personal development goals such as physical and psychological health, positive self-concept, interpersonal skills, and responsibility and caring, and social goals such as upholding the social system, belief systems, and intellectual traditions and preserving the physical environment. The criteria that such a program must meet take the following form: (1) character develops through responsible action, so the curriculum must allow students to confront meaningful questions, and become involved in activities and actions to implement their solutions; (2) character develops through interaction so the curriculum must focus on interactions with the moral and ethical dimensions of the social, cultural, and ecological environments; (3) character integrates the whole personality so school should provide ample activities for the development of a strong sense of identity; and (4) character involves consistent patterns of action so curriculum should help students commit themselves to a set of positive values and to act on them consistently. Two key principles for implementing Integrated Character Education are the recognition of character education as part of every subject and the community and school as partners. Other principles uphold the importance of a positive classroom environment and recognize that empowered teachers are best equipped to carry out the goals of character education; that such education is encouraged through administrative policy and practice; and that character education is action education. (DK)

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